Monday, July 9

New Biking Challenges

I recently joined the Bike Philly Challenge on with the Temple Ambler team and it has been a huge motivator to do more biking, even in the heat and when my schedule seems to busy to get out there.  You can log your biking trips under transport or exercise, draw exactly where you rode and it tallies your mileage and you can chart your progress on graphs and with other members.
India Point Park, Providence, RI

The ramp to the path, behind steps
It inspired me to plan a trip to Providence, Rhode Island just for biking and I found some beautiful trails, but getting to those trails proved to be a bit dicey and confusing.  Each person we asked had different directions on how to get to the trailhead and they all said, "It's a little confusing, but then you follow the signs and you'll eventually find it" It ended up taking us over an hour of following bike path signs that led us in the wrong direction, calling the bike shop, and finally we happened to be in a spot where we saw a biker taking the path up an over the bridge to get to the trail.  There were kiosks with nothing posted on them and trails that led nowhere and we decided ultimately, the bike path was designed for drivers who parked in the adjoining lots, not for bicyclists who were traveling from town out to the paths.
Wrong way path away from East Bay
Not very informative kiosk
When we finally made it to the East Bay path, it was so beautiful!  Great views of the water, rocky islands, lighthouses, marshes, railroad tracks, smooth paved paths, great people, varied terrain and ice cream!
East Bay Path
Beautiful Views

Ice cream pitstop

Headed back to Providence

Back here in Philly, I'm starting to explore the Where to Bike Philadelphia guide's paths, and looking forward to biking Pennypack and Long Beach.  I've been trying out more road biking lanes and getting used to riding with cars around me, looking out for parked cars that might be getting ready to pull out, and using my mirror to watch for cars coming up behind me on roads with no bike lane.
I had what I'm calling a "good fall" on my bike yesterday, because I didn't get seriously hurt and it was instructive to know how not to carry your tote bag on the bike!  I was riding a friend's bike around a little suburban neighborhood with my tote on the handlebar when I felt the front tire go out and I got launched head first at the ground.  I managed to put both hands out and keep my head from hitting the ground, and the bike came down with my legs tangled in it, but I only made impact with my right knee, a little sore and bruised, but no damage. The tote had gotten pulled into the spokes under the frame and the wheel just stopped turning. Luckily we were right behind a drugstore, so we could grab disinfectant and Band aids right away.
Road rash

I came home and went for a ride on Kelly Drive and though my knee was a little sore, it felt good to get a good ride in after the fall.

Beautiful bridges

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